- Partnering; Suppliers; Customer satisfaction; Goals
Companies are expected to achieve a high level of customer satisfaction in order to outperform their competitors. Many companies focus on how they themselves can do better to meet their customers’ needs. However, they may not be aware that they can best satisfy their customers by teaming up with their suppliers. This study suggests that a company can sustain its performance by extending TQM principles beyond its internal boundaries, i.e. it should partner with its suppliers. This paper studies the factors that lead to successful partnering with suppliers and how supplier partnering can help a company improve its performance. This paper proposes that companies can improve suppliers’ satisfaction and solicit their contribution through satisfying their needs, developing cooperative goals, and interacting constructively with suppliers. Moreover, it argues that supplier satisfaction and contribution will lead to customer satisfaction. Results from 139 supply chain managers show that partnering with suppliers can help companies achieve higher customer satisfaction.
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